INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs, the most dynamic player on the Ravens’ staunch defense, has won the 2011 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
On a team featuring longtime stars Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, Suggs stood out most for a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. He earned 21 votes, seven more than Minnesota end Jared Allen.
Suggs had 70 tackles, including 14 sacks, and was a force all over the field from his hybrid linebacker-end position. He also forced seven fumbles and had two interceptions as the Ravens went 12-4 to win the AFC North. Baltimore allowed 266 points, third fewest in the NFL.
Safety Reed won the award in 2004, while Lewis won in 2000 and 2003.
Also receiving votes were DE-DT Justin Smith of San Francisco, DE Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants, linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman of San Francisco, and Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson.